Whole Foods Market’s (WFM) Sell Rating Reiterated at Pivotal Research

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)‘s stock had its “sell” rating restated by equities research analysts at Pivotal Research in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, April 14th. They currently have a $20.00 price objective on the stock. Pivotal Research’s target price would suggest a potential downside of 44.67% from the stock’s current price.

WFM has been the subject of several other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $35.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Monday, March 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 7th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Thursday, January 19th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective (down previously from $29.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Thursday, February 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $23.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Thursday, February 9th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.94.

Analyst Recommendations for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) traded down 0.30% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $36.04. The company had a trading volume of 2,586,921 shares. The firm has a market cap of $11.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.69 and a beta of 0.75. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $34.71 and its 200 day moving average price is $31.51. Whole Foods Market has a 52-week low of $27.67 and a 52-week high of $38.29.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 10th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.37. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 2.81% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The firm had revenue of $3.74 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.73 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 EPS. Whole Foods Market’s revenue was down 99.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Whole Foods Market will post $1.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This is a positive change from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.99%. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.29%.

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In related news, insider Michael Bashaw sold 2,614 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.56, for a total value of $77,269.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 4,949 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $146,292.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider A C. Gallo sold 5,136 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.23, for a total transaction of $160,397.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 62,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,960,994.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 37,736 shares of company stock worth $1,126,006 in the last quarter. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 3,657.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,099,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $775,680,000 after buying an additional 25,404,982 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at about $165,510,000. Equity Investment Corp Acquisition Inc acquired a new position in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at about $67,167,000. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 85.8% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,662,898 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,192,000 after buying an additional 2,152,964 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parnassus Investments CA increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 29.2% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,825,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $232,559,000 after buying an additional 1,770,000 shares during the last quarter. 85.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Whole Foods Market Company Profile

Whole Foods Market, Inc is engaged in the business of natural and organic foods supermarket. The Company operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its stores have an average size of approximately 39,000 square feet, and are supported by its distribution centers, bake house facilities, commissary kitchens, seafood-processing facilities, a produce procurement center, and a specialty coffee and tea procurement and roasting operation, among others.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:WFM

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